At the beginning of this 2-hour 55-minute final, Rios looked like he would retire, but he somehow won the opening set and his physical problems evaporated. “Even if I was not feeling good, I played one of my best matches”, he said. “I’m really proud I can win a match like that.” “I wasn’t feeling that good all day,” said Agassi, who earned $650,000. “It’s hard to recover in 15 hours or so” referring to his semifinal that lasted 3 hours 41 minutes (he saved four match points vs Kucera)… Rios won 5 out of 6 service games in the 3rd set at ‘love’! The number of participants of the ’98 event was reduced from 16 to 12 (the same applied in 1999). Rios earned 1.3 million dollars. Despite the smaller format of the event, he wasn’t the first champion to win three matches instead of four, Ivanisevic also won just three in 1995 when received a walkover in the quarterfinal.
Rios’ route to his 11th title:
Q Felix Mantilla 7-6(2), 7-5
S Mark Philippoussis 7-6(4), 6-3, 6-4
W Andre Agassi 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 5-7, 6-3
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